New £100m hospital opens today 

01/10/2019 00:00 
Our new Royal National ENT and Eastman Dental Hospitals opens today. 

All Eastman Dental Hospital services are now based at the new facility and the hospital site on Gray’s Inn Road is closed to patients. The Royal National Throat, Nose and Ear Hospital outpatient services start to be provided from the new location next week. Theatres, wards, sleep diagnostics and allergy day case will remain at the Royal National Throat Nose and Ear Hospital on Gray’s Inn Road until 2020.

The £100 million hospital is one of the biggest specialist centres in Europe for dental, ear, nose, throat, hearing and balance services.

The new state-of-the-art facility, where more than 200,000 appointments will be carried out each year, brings the Royal National Throat Nose and Ear Hospital and Eastman Dental Hospital together under one roof.

These two institutions have combined histories of more than 230 years of excellence and innovation. The hospital will care for children and teenagers on a separate floor to adults. The floor has special features, such as ceiling art to distract children, to make their treatment more enjoyable for them. In the basement of the hospital, a surgical zone has been constructed meaning that patients can have dental and ENT procedures without having to go to an operating theatre.

Marcel Levi, chief executive of UCLH, said: “I am delighted that our new Royal National ENT and Eastman Dental Hospitals opened today. Moving our two world-renowned hospitals into this new facility means we can now deliver care and treatment in a modern 21st century setting. With the latest technology, new dental chairs and imaging equipment, the new hospital shows the NHS at its very best.”

Next door to the hospital, we are also opening a new education centre for dental and hygiene therapy nurses. This centre uses dental simulation to replicate a range of dental procedures.

Lead dental nurse, Kerry Tilbury, said: “Using dental simulation is an excellent way to enabling dental nurses to learn. They can practice in the simulated environment and be confident when working directly with patients.”

Interesting facts about our new hospital

  • The new hospital is on the site of the Royal Ear Hospital, which was built following a donation by Sir Geoffrey Duveen in 1927. The Duveen Memorial Crest, commemorating this legacy, has been saved from the old building and reinstated on our new hospital.
  • A number of our staff worked at the old Royal Ear Hospital before it closed in 1997 and services moved to the Royal National Throat Nose and Ear Hospital. Leah Meerton is one of those staff. She explains: “It is a great privilege to have worked in this field from its inception in the UK. We are moving back to where the early innovators, Graham Fraser and John Graham, were surgeons in the 1980s and 90s. They were instrumental in driving the availability of cochlear implants on the NHS.”
  • The George Eastman bust has been moved from the dental hospital and is now in pride of place in the ground floor of the hospital. George Eastman (1854-1932) was an American entrepreneur who founded the Eastman Kodak Company, popularising the use of roll film and bringing photography to the mainstream. He was also a philanthropist and his donation in 1926 enabled the Eastman Dental Hospital to be developed.
  • Construction of the new hospital began in December 2016.
  • Topping out was on the eve of the birthday of the NHS in July 2018.
  • A time capsule is buried at the entrance and includes items chosen by patients and staffing, including hearing aids, dental moulds and x-rays and plans for the building.
  • The new hospital has benefited from a number of charitable gifts. These include for the art work which is on every floor of the building, and an installation that has been developed with patients and staff recording memories of the previous hospitals.

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